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Full text of "Under the hawthorn, and other verse"

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To Maud Irene --------i 

Under the Hawthorn 2 

Polly 5 

Dreams ......... g 

By the Brook 13 

The Old Garden 16 

Amabel to her Husband ...... 18 

Spring's Delays -- 20 

Life 22 

I. N. take thee M. 23 

A Little Day 24 

At a Dance 25 

Evening Reflections 27 

Dulces Amaryllidis Ire 28 

The Pity of it 29 

RSves D'Antan 30 

The Seasons 31 

In the Churchyard 33 

A Sealed Letter ........35 

To One in Italy ....... 37 



To One in England - 38 

Flower of Love 39 

Moribunda 40 

To Crystal ........ 42 

Griefs Philosophy ".._ r' "* 44 

Moira 46 

Lily 47 

Amaranth 48 

Beyond these Voices ....... 49 

A White Violet 52 

In a Lighthouse 54 

Arrets D'Amour 60 

Riduna Lys ...65 

The Poet to a Lady 68 

Madonna 69 

My Household Goddess 70 

Love and Death - - - - - . . -71 

The Peacemaker ....... 72 

A Hand at Whist - - - .. . -74 
Should Amy Waltz ....... 75 

This Book of mine ..76 

I was a Rosebud in June ...... 77 

This Day ..,; . . 79 

Pastor Bonus 80 

The "Soul's Temple 81 

Earth Notes --.----- 84 
The Dregs of the Cup 85 

TV TAY these long prisoned fancies now take wing, 
***- And, swiftly speeding over miles of sea 
Unto thy distant dwelling, sing to thee, 
Dear, earliest blossom of my life's glad spring ! 

If crude their notes, like those of some tame bird 

Recaptured after loss, that tries repeat 

Every new trill and quaver that he heard 

Near stranger nests, yet use may make them sweet : 

Enough. Fit thou to each poor air its word. 


" "\ T THEN the white blossoms on the hawthorn tree 

Give place to haws, or ever these be red, 
The little babe I hold upon my knee 
Will walk alone, reluctant to be led : 

" Later, will run, blind to my warning finger, 
Here, in the field, where flashes the swift scythe 

O'er the shorn turf that tempts the foot to linger ; 
(Could mother happier be or boy more blithe ?) 

"Will run; I'll chase him round the tree's rough bole ; 

Hold up, brave laddie ! Trip not, I beseech ! 
Caught ! Of my captive I demand full toll, 

Then toss him, laughing, high as arm can reach. 

" Toss him so high that myriad flying things 
With flutter of wing, start from their leafy lair, 

While baby claps his hands, and crows, and sings, 
And plucks dropt petals out of mother's hair. 

" Winter will come : the song-birds' time of woe ; 

For them our hawthorn ripens his good fruit, 
While winds blow keen, and feathery rime and snow 

Drape his bare twigs and heap about his root. 

" Winter \yill come. Will baby care ? Not he ! 

To romp with mother in her cosy den, 
Or hear her read, close pressed against her knee, 

Is surely joy enough for little men. 

" Then Spring will follow fast. Finches will build, 
The garrulous wrens will chatter as they mate ; 

Spring will revive what winter almost killed, 
And sweet surprises on our footsteps wait." 

She ended and sat silent, with bowed head 
Clasping her darling closer to her breast ; 

Then, issuing from the hawthorn's ample shade, 
Onward she passed, hushing the babe to rest. 

Winter has come. No blossom decks the bough. 

Fair life ! must you too with the bloom depart ? 
O, what is left of all May's promise now ? 

Some scattered berries, and an aching heart. 


is the old stone house, with its porch by 
ivy o'ershaded ; 
Ivy that droops like the hair on my long-ago lost 

love's face : 
Wretched, too wretched am I to enter, too way-worn 

and jaded ; 

Yet even an outcast like me may look at the dear 
old place. 

Back swings the gate.... We were sweethearts; 

'twas always " Harry and Polly" 
As children, and lovers we were when I came unto 

man's estate ; 
But my father discouraged my fancy and swore that 

a young fool's folly 

Was curable only by banishment far from the 
young fool's mate. 

I went. Was it fate, bad luck, or something God 

sent to pursue me, 
Hunted me after I left her ? will hunt to my 

latest breath 
Shipwreck, marsh-fever, a wound from an enemy's 

hand that nigh slew me, 

Letters from England that told of poverty, sickness 
and death. 

Death! but not hers. .. .That's her room; there 

where a glimmer of fire is : 
Nay, 'tis the red-screened lamp that she lit when 

I used to come 
Up through the roses at dusk.... Is yonder blue 

flower the great iris, 

Whose bulb I uprooted and sent from a garden- 
plot hard by Rome ? 

How soft the dew falls ! . . . . Had I stayed, I wonder 
how I had repaid her 

Her love ? Not so ill, as it seems to a soul with 

misfortune grown big ; 
Yet graces so many I lack ; unhappy I might have 

made her ; 
The willow-tree yields not the olive; the ilex 

bears not the fig. 

I'll close the gate gently and go. . . .home ? Why, I 

boast but a "dwelling" 
In a sordid street of the city, where faces are 

seamed with despair ; 

Where the paving-stone artist sits patient, and street- 
singers' hearts are swelling, 

As they warble of breezes and brooks, in the dust 
and the drouth and the glare. 

Hark ! there are steps on the gravel .... a voice .... 

two voices . . . . " O, Harry /" 
(Her sisters') " Come in. What joy 1 We have 
missed you this many a year : 


And Polly, she knew you would come ; they could 

never persuade her to marry." 
Lo ! Surely the heavens are opened, and these are 
the angels I hear. 

Dreams and delusions ! They pass. A stranger's 

the dear old place is ; 
Voices from dreamland were those I heard in that 

welcoming shout ; 
Even lov'd faces are fading. O, stay for one 

moment, ye faces ! 

They vanish. I turn from the gate as the rose- 
shaded lamp dies out. 



, the light is sweet, the wise man says, 
-*- And pleasant is it to behold the sun ; 
Under these trees, that temper its fierce rays, 
A man might sit and dream till day were done. 

Who cried, " Awake ! " Oh ! there you are, my pair 
Of treasures, worth all else below Heav'n's dome : 

My brave boy, Frank, and my demure wife, Clare ; 
No man more blest than I in wife and home. 

Church, did you say ? See ! how that sunbeam creeps 
Thro' those young leaves. One gets a clearer sense, 

Here, of God's works than where your curate heaps 
Platitudes up that pass for eloquence. 


Heav'n seems less distant underneath this beech 
Than 'mid four walls nay, dear one, look not vext ; 

Stoop, Clare! Come, boy! that's well; an arm for each; 
Now, fresh from church, repeat, forthwith, the text. 

Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right ? 

Judge ! would you mock me ? (whence this sudden 

pain ? ) 
My brain spins round ; the bright day turns to night ; 

My limbs are lead. Help ! do I dream again ? 

That man I envy whom no enemy 

Slanders in secret scattering wide a store 

Of poison-seeds for sprouting by and bye 
As mine did ; till who loved me, love no more. 

Wife ! let me feel your hand. My head, you know 
Is something strange since that black, dreadful day 

When one, whose name we breathe not, struck a blow 
That threatened our fair home in dust to lay. 


Great God ! Could I endure it ? Blow for blow 
Was surely righteous. Nay my wild mood flies. 

Look up, love ! See ! I crush the serpent ; so ! 
It shall not mar our perfect Paradise. 

Come, Frank, produce your news ! The chestnut bloom 
Is out ? The colt begins to bark the trees ? 

Old Cowslip's calf is thriving ? John, the groom, 
Has saved a bull-pup for you, if / please ? 

I know the wren do I ? in yonder thick 
Ivy-clad wall ; her eggs are unhatched still ? 

Enough ! who's for a walk Frank, fetch my stick !- 
Round by the lonely beacon on the hill ? 

Stop ! the child's hand is red !. . . .not blood ! . . ..(Oh God ! 

That leaden weight!) Speak! Speak! and make an end ! 
A leveret snared. . . .stretched dead upon the sod ? 

Boy ! you forget your lesson .... ne'er to blend. . . . 


What are the lines ? (He might have scoured this stain ; 

Hare's blood, not man's ; that's harder far to cleanse) 
Help ! help ! my chair is moving. . . .(Oh ! this pain ! ) 

Come ! the quotation not the words, the sense ! 

You cannot ? Quick ! my Wordsworth ! . . . .On I glide, 
Or seem to glide, as if my chair had wheels. . . . 

Read ! Ne'er to blend our pleasure or our pride 
With sorrow of the meanest thing that feels. 

Sweet wife ! Forgive my past wild mood, and think 
Its strangeness sprung from a disordered brain, 

Stay near me, love ! to please you I will drink 
The wine you bring me ; then to sleep again ! 

My chair stands still. How deadly cold it seems 
Here, on the lawn. (Again, that crushing weight!) 

Who touched me? Clare! did you? to end my dreams? 
I wake. Good God ! What's here ? THE PRISON GATE. 


! full many a coming Spring, 
Shall see you walk the brookside way, 
To ears not mine low whispering 

New vows. Old vows, ah ! where are they ? 

Hear my last prayer ! my last in life ; 

Raise from that other's breast your head 
I die. You should have been my wife. 

Wait //'// I die before you wed. 

Recall the past! Come, tread, once more, 
The ground you trod of old with me ; 

Drink in the fragrance from the shore ; 
Hear the low murmur of the sea. 


Trace once again the path we took 
While still the tardy ash-buds slept, 

And o'er our heads, beside the brook, 
In palest green the willow wept. 

How sweet the thousand childish ways 
Wherewith to while an idle hour ; 

To plait the grasses, weave the sprays 
Of traveller's joy and honey-flower ! 

Rather I woo the memory calm 

Of eves when, silent for love's sake, 

I heard you speak of vine and palm ; 
Of seas whereon no billows break ; 

Of tropic flowers ; fair, fragile toys, 
Made for the childhood of the world. 

"We three," you said, "shall taste those joys." 
" What three ? " 1 asked. Your proud lip curled 

In feigned derision ; " Love," you said, 
" And you, and I ; we'll try that land." 

Poor three ! you live, but Love is dead ; 
And here, O God ! a wreck 7 stand. 

Yet, go in peace ! Since you must wed, 
(I would not have you lonely dwell) 

Wait till they tell you I am dead, 
And take forgiveness with farewell. 


XJ o change, you say ? nothing of loss that tells ? 
Trees, flowers, are they as lovely as of yore ? 
Does Spring still deck with corals and green bells 
Our favourite sycamore ? 

The early lilacs, bloom they rank on rank, 

Purple, and white, as they have bloomed for years ? 

Old Crown-Imperial on the mossy bank, 
Sheds he his hoarded tears ? 

The rose-acacia, does it carpet now 

The pathway with its waxen blossoms red ? 

Drop the smooth berries from the laurel bough 
Into the violet bed ? 

Suffer the birds no loss, bereft so long 
Of us ? Is not the blackbird mute for doubt ? 

Is no part wanting to the thrush's song ? 
No liquid note left out ? 

Does the moon show behind the hedgerow-elms, 
Black bars against a spectral sea of light ? 

Reigns our one star over the heavenly realms 
King, on a clear, cold night ? 

They bloom, sing, shine ; our absence hindering not: 
They are but waiting till ourselves have ranged 

Enough, so we, revisiting that spot, 
May find them all unchanged. 


A^L may be well with us once more. You love me, 
Or so you sware long since with book and bell ; 
Have you but patience and the will to prove me, 
All may be well. 

All may be well. Try me, take me to task, it 
Will not be hard to storm my citadel ; 

Scale my high walls ! break down my forts ! I ask it ; 
All may be well. 

All may be well. I was in fault ; fool-hardy, 
I dashed against your calm invincible, 

Then fell back spent. Take my regrets, tho' tardy; 
All may be well. 

All may be well. Selfish my love, I own it ; 

Love such as mine soon rings Love's funeral knell. 
Henceforth my flame burns clearer than you've known it : 

All may be well. 

All may be well. Mine was the fault ; believe it. 

Still silent ? Here's your ring. To Amabel, 
Engraved inside. What ! will you not receive it ? 

All may be well. 

All may be well. How easily can wedded 

Hands clasp once more, lips their old tales re-tell ; 

Love can avert the lonely doom we dreaded : 
All may be well. 

All may be well. Replace Love's golden fetter ; 

Rivet it fast ; my wavering mind compel. 
Teach me to love self less, to know you better ; 

All may be well. 

BEAUTY of buds that blow ! Sorrow of flowers that 

April herself is a cheat, since none of her gifts abide : 
Did she inherit from March a wind that her firstlings 


Daffodils, fugitive, frail, a wind that scattered them all? 
Snapping their delicate stems so cruel the blast it 

Laying the pasque-flower low, the primrose dead at its 

side ; 

Till even the self-sown tuft of wallflower hardy and tall, 
Wedged in a chink of the granite, that many a gust 

Mingled a hint of decay with its splendid wine-dark 





All is not over yet. Valerian fringes the wall ; 
Ferns spring thick in the bank the primrose ruin to 

And see ! in the hedge-gap yonder, just where the sky 

shows blue, 
There where the ivy climbs, and the bryony boughs 

One little stitchwort star, hope of the spring, shines 



THVREAM of the darkness that dies with the morn 
^~"^ like a tropical flower ! 

Thy past, too far for recall, as a bird from the hand 

has fled ; 
Thy shadowy future we see not ; brief, brief is the 

vanishing hour, 

And the touch that awakes us at dawn at sunset may 
straighten us, dead. 


XT OR gold, nor lands, nor beauty that controls 
^ Man's heart, were mine; I brought not even 

Our home to bless. Love only came with me, 
Love, that met yours and doubled. All our wealth 
Was that harmonious blending of two souls, 

Which we call sympathy. 


A LITTLE day! 

From rosy morn to evening grey ; 
A waiting day, a day of fear ; 
Of listening for a footfall dear 
That comes not nay, that nevermore 
Shall sound upon our chamber floor : 
Yet live we out as best we may 
Our little day. 


"JV/T Y Queen is tired and craves surcease 
* Of twanging string and clamorous brass ; 
I lean against the mantelpiece, 
And watch her in the glass. 

One whom I see not where I stand 
Fans her, and talks in whispers low ; 

Her loose locks flutter as his hand 
Moves lightly to and fro. 

He begs a flower ; her finger-tips 

Stray round a rose half veiled in lace ; 

She grants the boon with smiling lips, 
Her clear eyes read his face. 

I cannot look my sight grows dim 
While Fate allots, unequally, 

The living woman's self to him, 
The mirrored form to me. 


After Horace. 

, I detest your dress ; my anger rises 
^-^ At rasping silks, at waists of eighteen inches ; 
Cease buying at the shop that advertises 

The gown that pinches ! 

Wear flowing muslins, nothing else, I bid you, 
Or softest woollens if the sky be fretful ; 
Good-night ! sleep well, and, that I ever chid you, 
Awake forgetful. 


T TOLD my love a truth she liked not well ; 

*~ She spoke no word : I raised my eyes to watch 

Her cheek's red flush, her bosom's angry swell ; 

She rose to go ; her hand was on the latch ; 
When some swift thought of my fond love, maybe, 

Or ill-requited patience bowed her head : 
She faltered, paused with foot half raised to flee, 

Then turned, and stole into my arms instead. 


The remembrance of past joy is present sorrow's 
sharpest sting. 

WONDROUS thought ! mighty, and old and sad ; 

Mighty as death, and old as the old world, 
And sad as love that was and is no more ; 
Dug, in dead days, like diamond from the mine, 
Out of a Roman prisoner's wealthy brain ; 
Chosen, long ages afterwards, to blaze 
The central light of Dante's diadem ; 
And last, caught up by one whose heavenly crown 
But late displaced the laurel ; his hand raised 
And set this jewel mid those other gems 
" That on the stretch'd forefinger of all Time 
" Sparkle for ever !" 


"]V y1"Y wife, you said, shall walk this earth 
^ Queen of all women passing fair ; 
Tall shall she be, with red-gold hair 
Such hair as once in Venice shone 
On " dear dead " brows and men shall own 
Her mind than all her charms more worth ; 
She shall wear lightly classic lore ; 
She shall be poet, orator, 
Painter, musician, all in one. 

Your wife nor beauty boasts, nor grace, 
Nor genius men should bow before, 
Love's lamp alone illumes her face, 
Kindness her voice its tones hath lent ; 
What though her hair be flecked with grey, 
Her eyes by sorrow clouded o'er, 
Her head a little downward bent 
Poor head that wears no leaf of bay ! 
You seem to love her more and more. 


"\ T 7ooos for the Spring ! the stirring, wakening 


Full of dim glades that daily duskier grow, 
And arched recesses where the blackbird builds, 
And chants, full-voiced, his oft repeated stave. 
O, for the cool fresh woods in early Spring ! 

Gardens for Summer ! homely village plots, 
Where roses clasp the long-arm'd apple-trees, 
And columbines join hands with mint and rue, 
While bees grow clamorous over beds of thyme, 
And June is hastening to the longest day. 

For Autumn, moorland, sun-warmed, wind-caressed ; 
Scant change from summer glory do we know 
On the wide moor. In the clear Autumn air 
The lark resumes his interrupted song, 
And on the distant hills the heather burns. 

And what for winter ? Why, the lone sea shore ; 
The sandy waste puts forth nor bud nor leaf 
For frost to smite. No promise unfulfilled 
Vexes us here ; the sea suffices us, 
The patient, wise, companionable sea. 


"D Y her grave to be, near the cypress tall, 

^ That, sentinel-like, keeps guard on the place, 

She sat; then she rose from the low stone wall 

The joy of living alight in her face 
And danced on the turf in her childish glee, 
With never a thought of what should be. 

Of what should be but a few years thence ; 

For the child so loved of us, Death loved too ; 
He stole from his shades, and her soul bore hence, 

Heavenward, we know, for our faith is true. 
We laid her to rest by the cypress tree, 
With many a thought of what should be. 

Of what should be when this life were done, 

And the next one reached, we fitfully talked, 

As back from her grave to our cold hearthstone, 
And desolate home, we, faltering, walked. 

Thus talk we no longer ; yet dreams are free ; 

We dream of what was, and no more may be. 


~\7"ou see this writing next my heart? Come nearer! 
My hand why not ? This is the sole love-letter 
I ever penned. 'Twas sent to one far dearer 
Than stammering lips could tell. I loved her 


Such depth of feeling diffidence may cover 
Than many a bolder lover. 

There came no answer to my passionate pleading : 
Death called my lady ere the seal was broken ; 
Yet, for an hour a lifetime by love's reading 

She clasped this record dumb of vows unspoken. 
One took it from her when he knew her sleeping 
And gave it to my keeping. 

O, heart of mine made pure by touch of paper 
Her heart has touched nay, have her lips not 
kissed it ? 

Keep faithful guard, and when my life's dull taper 
Fails, if some curious hand approach, resist it ! 

Let her reclaim her own when we meet yonder ; 

Will she be glad, I wonder ? 


lands beyond the sea, 
You ask a song of me, 
Here in a cold grey clime where loves of youth 
Seem half-forgotten ; where, in very truth, 
My lute is well-nigh silenced ; where, at last, 
My heart may grow as silent as my lute. 
But if your touch your warm and glowing finger, 
Swept o'er its strings, erewhile so cold and mute, 
You still might find some sad, sweet music linger 

In the poor chords and few, 

That you, and only you, 
Have power to charm forth from the dying past. 


hither, friend, from yonder wintry land ; 
Come, walk with me beneath mine olive trees. 
All Nature waits ; the very roses store 
Away their fullest tints your eye to please : 
The sunlight, striking on the grey stone wall, 
Desires your shadow ; tender leaflets fall, 
To hide the bareness of the marble floor 
Your foot should press. O Friend ! for evermore 
Must I and Nature wait you hand in hand ? 


The heart is a garden, warmed by Hope, wherein grow 
the beauteous flowers of love, the like of which eye 
hath never seen. 

E heart is a garden fair, 
And Hope is its sun ; 
Flowers grow in it, many and rare, 
Yet prize we but one. 

Whose bud like a sea-shell is fair, 
Its bloom like a flame ; 

Its spices rise sweet in the air, 
And Love is its name. 

There falls on our garden fair 

A frost or a blight ; 
Such weight can a frail flower bear ? 

Love dies in a night. 


They know who work, not they who play, if rest is 

"C^AREWELL to hope of Spring, of summer bloom 
Farewell to love, the love of days long dead ; 
I would not, if I could, lost joys resume ; 
Too late for love, she said. 

Farewell to sounds of earth, or harsh or sweet, 
Voices that echo in an aching head : 

Speed on, ye hours ! pass, pass with swifter feet ! 
Leave me to rest, she said. 

Rest from the worldly ways my feet have trod, 
A work-day world whence all delight hath fled ; 

Poor pilgrim on life's weary, toilsome road, 
The shrine is near ! she said. 

Rest ? should the soul in me soar swift away 
To sunshine, soul so long to darkness wed, 

Rest will it be but to behold that ray, 
Day's very spring, she said. 


T TE that has made you his wife, 

He that has given you his life, 
Cold to the touch of your hand, 
Passes to shadow-land. 

Love you he did, faults and all ; 
Now with his face to the wall, 
Calm in a new, strange wise, 
Deaf to your frenzy, he lies. 

He, whose fresh fountains outburst 
Ere you could utter " I thirst ; " 
One little droop of your mouth 
Once would have told him your drouth. 


What ! you loved, too, do you say ? 
Yours was a fire of one ray ; 
Less than a ray, a mere spark 
Struck from a flint in the dark. 

Love is a tree that demands 
Culture and warmth at our hands ; 
You who put ice to its root, 
Look not thereafter for fruit ! 


" 'TpHE child is ill." She turned and stayed her hand 
Nor quite arranged the rose-wreath that she 


Set in her curls. Her small foot beat the floor ; 
In thought she heard the music of the band 
That summoned her to reign in fairyland : 

" O for one dance," she cried, " one wild waltz 
more ! " 

"The child sleeps well." And, as she spoke she 


Of sorrows that had marred her life before 
She wedded wealth ; then, new things pondered 


She had but now begun to live, it seemed. 
Swift from the glass again her bright eyes gleamed ; 
" One triumph more," she cried, " one triumph 
more ! " 


" The child is dead." Harsh sound the brief words 


As her returning foot the threshold pressed. 
Her frozen lips scarce moved "At rest ! at rest!" 
She climbed the stair, she pushed the chamber door, 
She laid her rose-wreath on the baby's breast ; 
" One sorrow more," she moaned, " one sorrow 
more ! " 


i~~\ FATE, whose finger spun the dull brown thread 
^-'^ That, woven, makes the vesture of my life, 
Bethink thee ! did no strand of rosy-red, 
No hint of Tyre, with sunset flushes rife, 

No golden threadlet plead to be entwined 
Amongst the brown ? What subtle harmonies 

Of gold and colour might, therein enshrined 
Have leapt to light. But thou saw'st otherwise. 

And I must wear, with what poor grace I may, 
This sober garb amid the motley crowd 

Who frolic merrily along Time's way, 
Until I fold it round me for a shroud. 

Born December "$\st. 

/ 1pHE year is dying slowly. Faint and chilly, 

His last star burns. A group of maidens stand 
Beside the city gates, with garlands fair, 
To crown the blithe newcomer, who, with hair 
Flying, and hurrying foot, will straight demand 
Entrance of him who guards the iron-bound door. 
" What ! shall the dying year go forth unblest 
" By bud or bloom, amid such bounteous store ? 
" Yield him one blossom ere he sink to rest ! 
" Behold ! this fair, sweet thing men call a lily, 
" I keep for him ! " Thus spake the janitor. 


HE cannot die ; her presence fills our home : 

Others can pass forgotten, but she had 
A hundred points to hold the memory by, 
Like rose-leaves snatched from summer to make glad 
The senses in the wintry days to come, 
When sunlight fades, and hearts grow chill and sad, 
And thro' the ruined garden west winds sigh. 


understood him ; many loved him well ; 
Courteous, clear-headed, no mean orator ; 
One, above all, well versed in Nature's lore, 
Her power was on him, and beneath her spell 

Wonders he saw. In a dark world the East 
Guarded for him one little rift of gold ; 
The sternest rocky hill for him unrolled 

A softening veil of purple amethyst. 

For him the wind-tormented, wintry trees 
Glowed with a recollection of dead Junes, 
Birds in mid-autumn sang their nesting tunes, 

Bare hedgerows flamed with flowers his eye to please. 

And can such joys, like dreams that die with night, 
Be as they had not been ? In that new sphere 
Wherein he moves, is earth no longer dear ? 

Shall Nature minister to his delight 

No more ? And we ourselves, our hopes, our fears ? 
Surely he knows our projects of each day, 
Our suns that rise in gold and set in grey ; 

Our mirth must move his mirth, our tears, his tears ? 

We know n6t, nay, nor shall know, maybe not 

Until we too touch land, gain that vast shore 
Whose bounds Time's foot were powerless to 

As we pause, dazzled, new to that bright spot, 

Suppose this man, with eyes like dawning day 
And face remoulded to its early prime, 
Full of great, sad, regretful thoughts sublime, 

Should step forth, smiling in the old wise way, 

Lay in our own his indolent, kind hand 

Such warmth of welcome in his kindling eye 
That " Farewell goes out sighing," fain to die 

And bid us in : then, shall we understand ? 


out of season ; not when light winds play 
With budding boughs, but when strong eddies 


The last leaves down. November is as May 
To us, for her dear sake. 

Died in full summer, when white lilies tall 
And clove carnations bloom ; our senses ache 

Remembering these. Heavy thy footsteps fall, 
July ! for her dear sake. 

Hers was a flower-like life, so brief, so dear ! 

Must earth's best flowers the briefest sojourn make ? 
Yea, but heav'n's blossoms flourish all the year ; 

Look up ! for her dear sake : 


Then, for your eyes and ears, a fuller note 

In all created nature shall awake ; 
Song-birds shall warble forth from deeper throat, 

Joyful, for her dear sake. 

Roses, long laid in ashes, shall revive, 
Violets their ancient sweetness shall retake ; 

All things that be, in richer splendour live, 
Richer, for her dear sake. 

And, each with other, you and yours shall vie 
In acts of love to those whose sad days break 

In rayless gloom : so, joy shall underlie 
Your tears, for her dear sake. 


WHAT ! you would see the lighthouse, Sir ? 
Forgive me if I am but slow 
To hear ; there's always such a stir 
At sea. Besides, I'm old, you know. 

Alone, Sir ? Yes, save for a lad 

They sent me one to share my watch 
When. . . .let that pass a many I've had, 

Of youths, since then. Aye, raise the latch, 


And we'll go up. My thoughts had flown, 

As you stood calling there below, 
To one clear voice, that to my own 

Made joyous answer long ago. 


Thanks ; when I sit my limbs are eased ; 

Such stairs ! Here's the machinery 
(Tell you my story ? But too pleased) 

By which the light is flashed to sea. 

" A peaceful land ! " On that my thought 
Was dwelling when I heard you speak ; 

Three little words ; they're all I brought 
From church ashore on Sunday week. 

" A peaceful land ! " the parson said ; 

Not often do I go ashore ; 
Idly I'd wandered, church-ward led 

By thoughts of one who nigh the door 

Lies buried ; she I loved and lost 
Years since, my wife, a tender thing ; 

We married when I gained this post, 
She left me ere the second spring. 

Nature had nursed her ; she had moved 
In country air since she was born ; 

All sounds and sights of earth she loved ; 
Birds' songs, green hedgerows, waving corn. 

I, selfish fool ! God help me ! I 

Who loved her, tore my meadowsweet 

From her fair field to droop and die ; 
No kind earth here to woo her feet. 

Yet think what 'twas to have her ! how 

Things that she breathed on took new grace ; 

She and her pot-flowers, all ablow, 
Made quite a glory in the place. 

At first she, like her flowers, increased 
In beauty ; brightly gleamed her eye. 

" I'm seasoned well," she'd say in jest ; 
" Not salter was Lot's wife than I ! " 


Alas ! they dwindled, she and they, 
" A little earth ! " their silent plea ; 

They thirsted in the salt, salt spray, 
They shuddered at the creeping sea. 

I lured her in my fishing-boat 

To sail, some twice or thrice, no more ; 
But all the hours we spent afloat, 

She kept her face fast set to shore. 

She loved not sport I mind me well 
Shrank at the barking dog-fish din ; 

Screamed when, as bait for mackerel, 
I sliced their kindred's rainbow skin. 

And many a time, on stormy nights, 
Her tender heart with fear was stirred, 

As, following where I watched the lights, 
The clash of wind and wave she heard, 

And caught her breath and, sighing, went 
Back to her room where no light was ; 

She could not look while gulls, storm-spent, 
Beat themselves blind against the glass. 

She faded, young. I bowed my head, 
Crying, thro' tears, " God's ways are best ! 

Better by far my dove were dead, 
Than pining in this sea-bird's nest." 

I hung above her, tried to catch 

One word for me. No use ! She cried 

For lilies from some shady patch 

Near the old home, fell back, and died. 

Oh ! " Land at last ! " The salt sea-mist 
Gathers no more before her eyes ; 

She plucks Heav'n's lilies if she list, 
And roams at will thro' Paradise. 


There, " no more sea ; " For barren, lean 
Unstable furrows ridged with foam, 

Green meadows ; streams that wind between ; 
(A brook ran past her childhood's home). 

So, when I heard " a peaceful land" 
I pictured one by Jordan's banks. 

She will be there, you understand 
What ! going, Sir ? Good day ! and thanks. 


sat apart in a wide window-seat 
Overlooking Thames ; three girls, Pearl, Star, 

and Dove ; 

The first was speaking. " Yes ; extremes do meet 
Oft-times. The great brown hand of my tall love 
Could toss me like a feather. O, tis sweet 

" To know him bondslave to one small pale girl ; 

To feel how potent are my charms on him ; 
They keep him constant. O'er this tendrilled curl, 

A shower would make short work of, what a hymn 
Of praise he sings. Only to whisper " Pearl ! " 

Or touch my hand, his honest eyes grow dim." 


" Too constant is inconstant ! " flashed out Star ; 

" He loves one day your hair, the next your hand, 
A third your figure ; then your soft eyes are 

Sweeter than all. If love I understand 
Love for love's sake alone were better far. 

" O'er vaunted constancy, I woo not thee ! 

Between four eyes full many a witching look 
May pass but not the same two pairs for me : 

The tete-a-tete domestic who could brook ? 
Not I, forsooth ! Pearl could, perhaps, though she 

Might grow a trifle weary if the book 

" Of life lay ever open at one page : 

Dove, now, wise child, loves calm ; (if wisdom 

But catching, or grew on us like old age, 

How wise /might be yet). Come, Dove, declare 
The thoughts that lurk behind that forehead sage ! " 


" Love love I know not, lover having none," 
Said Dove, "love language to my lips is thus 

Strange ; but if loved, wedded for love alone, 
I should be faithful found, I think. To us 

Women it seems so easy to enthrone 

" One as our king. I'd bow to mine, nor kick 
Against his mandates. Poor, I'd work for him ; 

Amuse him when in health ; nurse him when sick, 
Not shrinking from grief's cup though filled to brim; 

Not flinching though God's hand to "dead" changed 
" quick." 

" Depressing strain ! Tinkle of physic phial ! " 
Laughed Star in scorn, and smote one pretty palm 

Against the other. " Slowly, round Time's dial, 
The hands would travel to such music. Calm ? 

Stagnation ! Such a life indeed were trial. 

" Hail, Pleasure ! Thee I'll worship ; so thou please 
My ears with mirth, my eyes with beauteous things 

Laughter for those, jewels and silks for these 
So I, poor drone, may soar on painted wings 

Far over this dull throng of working bees." 

" O, Star ! " cried Dove, " O, wandering, fitful fire ! 

Leave not our chimney-corner to go burn 
On alien hearths ! Better by far to tire 

Of lighting up our loving eyes than turn 
To dust and ashes on some distant pyre." 

" Brief home affections ! " Sadly now spoke Star. 

" Where are our true, true friends of yesterday ? 
Dead, changed to us, or journeying hence afar ; 

Their ghosts alone come up the moonlit way 
Themselves trod singing. Poor, mute ghosts they 
are ! 

Snapped lute-strings yield more melody than they." 

6 4 

Silence ensued ; a silence that the girls 

Seemed loth to break. Evening fell, still and fair ; 

A time for thought. The low, red sun smote Pearl's 
Gold head to flame, just tinted Dove's pale hair, 

And shot bright arrows through Star's dusky curls. 

Soon, five shrill whistles from the river greet 

Pearl's ear, who from the room moves swift away, 

Her love with prompt obedience to meet ; 
Dove steals apart to meditate and pray ; 

Alone, Star sits in the wide window-seat, 

Face dropt in hands, till night falls cold and grey. 


in the isle that gave her her quaint name, 
Fair, wise as fair, and with a heart at ease 
Was she, until one dolorous day there came 

A ship that brought strange gods from overseas. 
Gods ? nay, mere mortal men and women ; these 
She deemed gods, seeing nothing to proclaim 

That feet of clay lurked 'neath their draperies. 
She watched them land with eyes and cheeks aflame. 

She, so close cloistered in that sea-girt spot, 
Mistook for prayer their worldly litany; 

Hung on their lips, the claims of home forgot ; 
Forgot all else save the wild hope that she 
Might please the cold blue eyes of one, and he 

A king of men ; thanked Heav'n that no dark blot 
Defaced a page in all her ancestry ; 

Played folly's game, " he loves me ; loves me not." 
* Riduna ; the Roman name for the island of Alderncy. 


Her father owned a little boat, wherein 

Her pastime oft had been to sail or row ; 
But now each day with pleasures would begin, 

That ended not with day, but seemed to grow. 

No need for "pastime" in her full life now : 
To steal an hour from her new god were sin ; 

She merged her thoughts in his, nor cared to know 
Aught, save the way his looks and words to win. 

That was her dream, as sweet as it was brief; 

Doubt stirred in her ; then came awakening. 
Dry-eyed she saw her proud soul scorned relief 

Of softening tears that man whom she called king 

With his gay crew, make for the ship, whose wing 
Was spread for flight. One in her ear said "Thief! 

" Your love to steal, and then aside to fling." 
But deaf she was and mute with sullen grief. 

She could not rest. Down from the quay she flew, 
Loosed boat that ship to reach her only aim 

And gained the shadow that its tall side threw. 

From overhead a voice a woman's came : 

" Poor Ariadne of the savage name ! 
" Who'll dry the tears she weeps ' for one untrue ' ? " 

A man's voice answered with no note of shame, 
" Some island Bacchus may; / follow^." 

Homewards ! she lands : Yon rock hides caves that 

Of old had shunned for fear. Without demur 
She enters one, lies down and smiles to see 

The tide creep up. Entranced, she cannot stir, 

Though the small, stealthy shore-crabs climb on her, 
In doubt what this strange, passive thing may be. 

At last, one wave breaks on the rock's sharp spur, 
And all her hair floats on the rising sea. 



Clement Marot. 

OHE, from reading of my lays, 

Sr Loved me ; then would see my face ; 

Saw me ; liked me none the less, 

For grizzling beard and swarthiness. 

Ah ! sweet spirit, high-born maid, 

True the judgment you displayed ; 

Grown already grey, this shell 

You behold it is not I, 

'Tis the jail wherein I dwell. 

When my written words you read, 

Reason guiding your bright eye, 

Then you see myself indeed. 

Francesco Morone. 

A CHILD'S curved lip ; a woman's thoughtful eyes ; 
"*** An oval face with look half proud, half-sweet ; 
A face as pure as some sheathed lily-bud 
That, softly swaying to Sicilian airs, 
Waits to blow wide a snow-white, perfect flower, 
Fit for the fingers of Persephone. 

A Burne-Jones Damsel. 

OILENCE she keeps. Not even at Love's command 
S* Speaks she, but yields the mute applause of eyes 

To my outspoken fancies, wild or wise : 
Nor music makes she, though her slender hand 

Holds the tuned viol. Grave, serene and fair 
She, all unstirred by vain imaginings, 
Suspends the bow above the soundless strings 

And waits my pleasure on the " Golden Stair." 

G. F. Watts, R.A. 

thou, fond Love, to tear the awful pall 
* From Death's dread face, his vanquisher to prove, 

Or pity in that icy breast to move ? 
White Death no pity knows for great or small. 
What guard' st thou in thy citadel, that tall 
Thorn-studded briars defend ? Some wounded 


Prey of thy pliant bow, whom thou, O Love ! 
Nursest to life with food ambrosial ? 

Vain conflict ! vain endeavour ! Know that Death 
Holds thy pleach'd barriers but as blades of grass : 
Soon he will close with thee, yea, breast to breast, 
And when thine eyes o'erclouded, faint thy breath 
Thou fall'st, 'mid rending garlands he shall pass 
Over thy prostrate body to thy nest. 

Marcus Stone, R.A. 

iss and be friends ! Do love-bonds bring such 


That you two souls should break them thus, and go 
(One with averted eyes as if, maybe 
Fearful the other's anxious looks to see) 
By parted ways, with footsteps sad and slow ? 

In this sharp hour life's furnace is aglow ; 
Say, shall it shrivel you to dust, or show 

Your hearts pure gold ? The last ? Then, speedily 
Kiss and be friends ! 


Come, frown not ; copy Nature's smiles ! You owe 
Her thanks to-day for tones and tints that grow 

Hourly more joyous ; hues of flower and tree ; 

White lambs that leap upon an emerald lea ; 
Would you supply the note of gloom ? Ah ! no ; 
Kiss and be friends 1 


" A HAND at whist ! You'll be so kind ? " 
^ My hostess murmurs from behind ; 

I take my seat with rueful face. 

Right, left, two players fill the space ; 
Ladies, but somewhat tough of rind. 

Angels and ministers of grace ! 
A goddess claims the vacant place : 
Takes to my own I am resigned- 
A hand at whist. 

What had I lost had I declined 
This game abhorrent to my mind ? 
A ruffled mass of creamy lace, 
That, swept from a round wrist, displays, 
White, plump, with each blue vein defined, 
A hand at whist. 


OHOULD Amy waltz, I'd straight begin 
^ To steal the ball-room precincts in : 

My dancing days are o'er, but lo ! 

Such grace her airy movements show, 
To lose the sight were surely sin. 

With myriad charms my glance to win, 
Up-curling lashes, saucy chin, 
Dark hair, and eyes that mock the sloe ; 
Should Amy waltz ? 

Ah ! me, each rhythmic twirl and spin 
Might bear a lesson writ therein. 

How old we poor outsiders grow ; 

/am past waltzing, well I know. 
No matter ! I'd not care a pin, 

Should A my waltz. 


is book of mine, when curled perukes 
Were worn 'twas printed. Earls or dukes 
(Princes are bibliophiles to-day) 
Might buy this volume, who can say ? 
Now Fortune bids me sell my books. 

Its tattered state the hope rebukes ; 
Once an idition de luxe, 
Now it is verging on decay, 

This book of mine. 

How it recalls past summers ! Brooks 
Murmur, larks sing ; loud caw the rooks ; 
Pink petals fall ; hands fair as they 
Drop them among these pages grey : 
Let be ! too like a friend it looks, 
This book of mine. 

Apptna Sf pub dir: " Questafu rosa ? " 

T WAS a rosebud in June, 

* Dewy, and fragrant and fair ; 

Now, my poor petals are strewn. 

Thrushes were singing in tune, 

There, where I scented the air : 
I was a rosebud in June. 

Pluck'd, say a sun-round too soon, 
Ere my deep heart could lie bare 
Now, my poor petals are strewn. 

How can I Fate importune ? 

Where is my loveliness ? where ? 
I was a rosebud in June. 

No man could count me a boon 

Fit to bestow on his fair, 
Now my poor petals are strewn. 

Dead, ere morn melts into noon ! 

What is there left ? To declare, 
She was a rosebud in June ; 
Now, her poor petals are strewn. 

Pensa che queslo di mat non raggiorna. 

on this rapturous day, clear after rain, 
When bees hum loud and roses open wide 
And birds chant anthems, have we glorified 
The day by one small act, or striven to gain 
Ease for ourselves ? Wept we at one friend's pain ? 
Balm to one sufferer's wounds have we applied, 
Or like the Levite coldly turned aside ? 
" Think, that this day will never dawn again 1 " 

Think this ; not sadly sadness chains the free ; 
Among the tombs to linger is not meet 

But onward press where good men walked before, 
Till on the shores of some far Galilee 

We sit, content, at our great Master's feet, 
Watching the dawn that darkens nevermore. 


TV TY sheep I know and love ; no lambs too young 
*** For me to care for; guide their stumbling feet; 

Teach them to crop the tender herbage sweet ; 
Carry them, when they fall rough briars among. 
Did I not leave for these the heavenly throng, 

The glories of the jewel-paven street ; 

Change angels' music for their plaintive bleat, 
Singing, myself, on earth, a shepherd's song ? 

My sheep I love. But am I loved of mine ? 
Mayhap their lines in pleasant places fall ; 

They need me not. Let be! A time may come, 
Some night so dark not ev'n the pale stars shine, 
They wander, lost. Alone, I hear their call : 
Then do I haste to lead my strayed flock home. 

/ will search Jerusalem with candles. 

/CLEANSE thou the temple of thy soul ! Fling wide 
^- / Doors, windows. Sweep the walls. Let sun- 
beams play 

Where hang the fungus growths of many a day ; 
Scan each small nook where noxious things may 

hide ; 
The slippery snake, Deceit, the blind worm, Pride, 

The spider, Avarice, make thou haste to slay ; 

Brush cobwebs with relentless hand away ; 
Let no dark spot remain unpurified ! 

Swept ? Garnished ? It is well ; now take good 

Thy house made fit to bear God's searching light, 

What souls thou sufferest pass the threshold o'er. 
Spurn the seven wicked spirits. Yea, indeed, 
Smite if they enter. Watch : on some blest night, 
Angels may steal in through the open door. 


we believe that thoughts of us still move 
Those loved ones who have joined the heavenly 

That noble deeds of ours (how rare !) inspire 
To fuller harmony their notes of love : 
That faults of ours (how frequent !) can, inwove 
Into that music, snap the harpist's wire, 
Untune the white-robed player's golden lyre 
Such discord-makers we were loth to prove. 

Ah ! could a victory o'er ourselves be won ! 
Yet, not alone such warfare dare we try : 

Tuning our voices till they reach His throne 
Who valiant is, yet tender Lord ! we cry, 

Stand on our side ! So shall we, bolder grown, 
Fight sin, as Christian fought Apollyon. 


WHAT do we give to God ? Our best or worst ? 
Our gold the gold of social state, the price 
Of pleasure ? or, sweet gift of sacrifice, 
Our frankincense ? (Whoso shall quench the thirst 
Of one in need, tho' last, shall e'en be first.) 

Our myrrh ? Or keep we back the gold and spice 
For our rich burial, when Death's hand of ice 
Grips us, wide scattering all our wealth accursed ? 

O, patient God ! when we, at last, with tears, 
Shall seek thee, slow awakening out of sleep ; 

Stunned with a fall from our once lofty place, 
With eyes of seeing tired, of hearing, ears ; 
Scarce strong enough, to lift loth limbs to creep 
Close to Thy feet avert not Thou Thy face ! 



PR De Gruchy, Augusta 

4526 Under the hawthorn